Grace is a film that, probably, most of us may find to be difficult to comprehend or enjoy. The most recent lecture before this movie was about repression and how it can act as a defining ingredient to a person. Indeed, a huge part of our lives include repressions and pretentions. We repress in ourselves inappropriate things so that we could be accepted in society and we sometimes we repress a little bit more than necessary that we end up pretending. We can define ourselves with what we say we are not but hidden behind our pretentions is a further definition of ourselves, what we want to be but for some reason we don’t show. In this film we viewed the life of two mothers who are both deeply repressed and pretending. It may be hard for us to comprehend their actions and also harder for us to enjoy the movie since the shocking images there further describe how repressed they truly are.
First we have Vivien, an old lady who misses being a mother. Since she’s old and her son is already grown up and married and soon, hopefully, be a father to a healthy baby, she could only tell them at dinner what she wishes to do if she was the mother of the baby. Deep inside she wishes to be the one who would take care of the baby as if it were her own. She knows she couldn’t impinge on the mother’s freedom even if her son, the husband, is willing to try her suggestions and therefore she does all these annoying things like sending unwanted doctors and pretends that she knows better and is just trying to help. But I think that there’s more to it. I guess the thing that Vivien misses most is being in control as a mother is to her son, she couldn’t exercise these anymore so we are shown in the movie that she takes it all out on her old husband. These two things that she repressed (motherhood and control) and have “returned” in the movie is most emphasized in the gross-out scene where she manipulates her husband to have sex but instead only forces him to just suck her breasts.
Next we have Madeline, a mother who, before having a baby was revealed to have lost a baby before and only wants to ensure her second baby’s safety so she does all these research and ends up hiring a doctor/midwife and goes through an unconventional diet which she believes to be more effective. After losing her husband in an accident and almost losing her baby in the process (technically she did lose her baby for a while) she is then left all alone in the house with the baby, yet she is happy because she finally has a baby, and she has the baby all to herself. She didn’t want to mind whatever miracle brought the baby back and why the baby smells and why so many flies like to drop onto the baby, she just wants to enjoy the motherhood which she longed for. In fact, she longed so much for it that she didn’t also mind that the baby only drinks blood and, later on, flesh. She longed so much for it that she would kill for it if necessary.
More than that, I think that this movie is not only about repression but also about the bonds of a parent-child relationship. It can be horrifying to think about, at times, the lengths at which parents would go for their kids. While mainstream society has this idea praised or put in a positive light, there are actually some parents out who would do the wrong things to others, even to themselves, just to satisfy their child. The most shocking part of the film for me was the ending clip, where we are shown a quick glimpse of the mother’s breast chewed off, said to be done the baby. Though, this wasn’t as hard to watch as the cutting of the doctor’s arm scene, where you could hear the snipping of the scissors tearing through the man’s flesh and almost feel the gushing of blood from the man’s veins. Overall, it a good horror movie for me. It has a lot to say, and even if it’s hard to comprehend or enjoy, it’s still very much effectively creepy.